a sunrise cruise on the waters of inle lake

Monday, February 23:  Last night, I accidentally set my alarm for 5 P.M. for a sunrise boat ride on Inle Lake this morning.  Luckily, my husband texted me from the USA at 5:35 and woke me up, otherwise I would have slept right through my appointed meeting.  I rush to shower and gobble down breakfast and meet the guide just in time for my day-long boat ride on the lake.

Several fellow travelers had warned me that the early morning boat ride on the lake would be cold, so I bundle up in my blue Wal-Mart men’s jacket; I bought this jacket in China because I hadn’t brought any warm winter coats to Nanning and women’s clothes in China are too small for me.  I get as comfortable as possible in a long-tail motorboat, commonly used for tours and fishing on Inle Lake.  Luckily, the boat guide also has a blanket I can wrap around myself.  It is freezing and windy out on the lake at this early morning hour, despite temperatures that rise up to 90 degrees in the daytime.

heading out on the canal to Inle Lake at daybreak

heading out on the canal to Inle Lake at daybreak

We leave before sunrise, so I’m able to see the sun coming up slowly over the horizon.  The plan is to spend the whole day on the lake, visiting stilt-house villages, floating gardens, and Buddhist temples, as well as hopefully getting glimpses of the famous Intha people using their unique technique for leg rowing — in which one leg is wrapped around the paddle to drive the blade through the water in a snake-like motion.

Inle Lake

Inle Lake

buildings along Inle Lake

buildings along Inle Lake

Inle Lake

Inle Lake

the boat cuts through the mist

the boat cuts through the mist

sunrise on Inle Lake

sunrise on Inle Lake

scenes along the wy

scenes along the wy

serenity

serenity

sunrise at Inle Lake

sunrise at Inle Lake

houses on stilts

houses on stilts

Click on any of the photos below for a full-sized slide show.

As we ply the waters, the golden sunlight washes over the waterways and stilt houses, giving the entire place an otherworldly aura.

shores of Inle Lake

shores of Inle Lake

sun reflection

sun reflection

Click any of the photos below for a full-size slide show.

We come across several Inle Lake fishermen; when we approach them, the boat guide turns down the engine of the long-tail motorboat so as not to scare away the fisherman’s intended catch.

fisherman

fisherman

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

sunrise, fishermen and birds

We head first to the five-day rotating market which is today at Khaung Daing Village, on the northwest end of the lake.  At the market, locals bring in fresh fish and produce from the floating gardens.

heading down a waterway to the market

heading down a waterway to the market

In Inle Lake’s famous floating gardens, Intha farmers grow flowers, tomatoes, squash, and other fruit and vegetables on long wooden trellises supported on floating mats of vegetation.  It’s hard to get a good view at lake level, but I’ve seen pictures of views from the hot air balloons that are fabulous.  Sadly, the hot air balloon prices are exorbitant, over $500, so I pass on this trip.  When I took a hot air balloon ride in Turkey, it was about 180 euros for one hour.

floating gardens of Inle Lake

floating gardens of Inle Lake

floating gardens

floating gardens

gateway

gateway

floating gardens at sunrise

floating gardens at sunrise

morning light

morning light

waterways of Inle Lake

waterways of Inle Lake

floating gardens

floating gardens

motor boating through the waterways

motor boating through the waterways

There are also Buddhist temples along the way.

Buddhist temple

Buddhist temple

After about an hour ride, we dock at this spot near Khaung Daing; I will walk from here to the market.

reflections

reflections

parking

parking

parking lot

parking lot

I walk inland to the market, not knowing what a colorful and lively experience it will turn out to be. 🙂

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Categories: Asia, Five-day rotating market, Inle Lake, Khaung Daing, Myanmar, Nyaungshwe, Shan State | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “a sunrise cruise on the waters of inle lake

  1. Ahhh you tease stopping right there 🙂 fabulous photos Cathy. Some of the stilt houses look very precarious, I can picture myself going into one and being the tipping point!

  2. Love the morning light and the sunrises, Cathy! I must have missed these last 2 posts. There must still be so much to write. It must all be starting to seem like a distant dream. 🙂 But you’ve got some travels planned. Hope you’ve solved your realtor situation. 😦

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